Revisiting Ionosphere-Thermosphere Responses to Solar Wind Driving in Superstorms of November 2003 and 2004

<p>We revisit three complex superstorms of 19\textendash20 November 2003, 7\textendash8 November 2004, and 9\textendash11 November 2004 to analyze ionosphere-thermosphere (IT) effects driven by different solar wind structures associated with complex interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and their upstream sheaths. The efficiency of the solar wind-magnetosphere connection throughout the storms is estimated by coupling functions. The daytime IT responses to the complex driving are characterized by combining and collocating (where possible) measurements of several physical parameters (total electron content or TEC, thermospheric infrared nitric oxide emission, and composition ratio) from multiple satellite platforms and ground-based measurements. A variety of metrics are utilized to examine global IT phenomena at ~1\&nbsp;h timescales. The role of direct driving of IT dynamics by solar wind structures and the role of IT preconditioning in these storms, which feature complex unusual TEC responses, are examined and contrasted. Furthermore, IT responses to ICME magnetic clouds and upstream sheaths are separately characterized. We identify IT feedback effects that can be important for long-lasting strong storms. The role of the interplanetary magnetic field <em>B<sub>y</sub></em> component on ionospheric convection may not be well captured by existing coupling functions. Mechanisms of thermospheric overdamping and consequential ionospheric feedback need to be further studied.</p>
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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